Doctor Who Blog

Don’t Just Listen

Tell us what you thought of the fourth episode of the current season of Doctor Who! Some are calling this episode the Peter Capaldi-era equivalent to Blink, some are calling it the best Moffat-written episode since he became the showrunner - do you agree? Remember to speak out your post as you type it, even if you think you are alone…..


While I thought the4 story overall was good, I had two problems that worried me about it. Problem 31: The constant back and forth time wise in the attempt at romance with Claire and Pink.  Problem 32: Claire is becoming more and more of a super character, a Mary Sue type character. And if that is not changed soon, its going to cause a lot of problems for fans and for the show.

Posted by Harry M VanHoudnos  on  09/15  at  08:39 AM

Actually, I found this episode better than what we’ve seen so far. It was well-plotted and structured for maximum effect. At times it reminded me of one of Moffat’s better episodes of Coupling, when cause and effect did not necessarily occur in the same order.

Indeed, the opening moves of Oswald & Pink have the feel of early Coupling, where she and he are slowly figuring things out and whether or not they really like each other.

As for Capaldi’s Doctor, I’m enjoying his new character - his logical, questioning nature in particular.

Posted by David H. Olivier  on  09/15  at  09:27 AM

I’m not sure what Harry in on about, I thought Clara developed much better in this one than her whole first year. More of this please!

Posted by Andrew  on  09/15  at  10:00 AM

Anything is better than the drivel of Sherwood. Clara’s theme music was and is brilliant.  Can’t say the same for the new opening credits. Thought we’d been invaded by Transformers with the clock gear opening shot.  The opening of this episode was stupid, with the chalk board and the his listing questions (with shots of the Doctor observing a leopard catching prey while up a tree with binoculars) but that’s the running theme (Bad Wolf anyone?) of this season, but the rest of the episode was excellent.  Just hoping that the Robot of Sherwood was an aberration.  Seems that there is some effort in finding the new Doctor’s voice and it has a few fans panicking that Peter Capaldi is not up to snuff, but it’s the writing, in my mind.  Hoping for the best.

Posted by John Hankinson  on  09/15  at  12:22 PM

I think I agree with you John - the writing is the differentiator.  I think Moffat is the cleverest of Doctor Who writers, while Gatiss on the other hand is much the weaker.  I thought Listen was excellent; scary and atmospheric in some places, comic in others, very clever, brave and all delivered on what I suspect was at the low end of the budget allocation.  This relied on the writer, director and the two leads rather than expensive CGI.  So far I think we’ve had 3 really good episodes and one real lemon.

Posted by Jon  on  09/15  at  02:38 PM

1st - I agree with Harry… while Clara is BEAUTIFUL and captivating ... she is NOT the Doctor.  The show is titled “Dr. Who” not “Clara’s Eyes”  (even though they were poking fun at her large doe eyes).  Secondly, I was hoping that the new Dr. would be stronger, darker, less questioning.  More like Chris Eckelstein (sp).  The more I watch the 9th dr, the more I regret the time we didn’t have with him.

Posted by Larry  on  09/15  at  07:01 PM

I really like the pacing of season 8 - that’s not to say I didn’t like what came before - we’ve seen many beloved companions and Doctor characters make the agonising decisions to leave the show - not because they out grew the roles but because they realized that the show is larger and more important then themselves as individuals. The enduring strength of “Who” is in it’s constant push to reinvent its self - find new ways to tell stories about a very old TimeLord from Gallifrey.
The show - before Peter Capaldi - told “LARGE” stories about saving worlds - saving the Universe - saving time it’s self - each new series found new ways to out do the last - faster pacing - to the highest of heights to greater depths of the despairing lows. All made for a great roller coaster ride but there came a time when a new direction for “Who” storytelling was needed - smaller scaled tales of the interior geography of individuals that takes the time to examines what seems to be small and insignificant on the outside at first would fit the bill nicely - tales of a young TimeLord who was frightened of the dark.
Well done!!!

Posted by Craig  on  09/15  at  08:21 PM

Well said Craig!

Though I preferred RTD’s time as showrunner, I didn’t like the fact that each season finale seemed to be trying to outdo the previous one.

“smaller scaled tales of the interior geography of individuals…”  Words fail me my friend, but this you possess masterful writing and observation skills.

That said, however, I do like kinetic, hi NRG moments in episodes for two reasons:

1] It’s a moment when I can turn my brain off and just blitz out to the special F/X

2] It feels like a validation for me when I see Doctor Who giving “some Spock” to borrow Rose Tyler’s phrase—meaning that this low budget sci-fi show with the wobbly sets from the 20th century can run with the big boys now and I can speak proudly of my love for the show. It has matched and even surpassed the special effects of modern day sci-fi in Hollywood and can stage a blood-pumping action sequence on par with the best of them out there. 

And for a while there I feared that LISTEN was dangerously close to becoming a dud (like THE POWER OF THREE) as it seemed such a quiet episode with very little happening.  But I eventually got over the fear as I started to realize there was smart subtext and a definite structure, albeit one that was difficult to see at first and one that wasn’t following the standard plot of your standard narrative.

And when it all came together at the end, I realized that the trappings of sci-fi can be like crutches at times.  Sci-fi doesn’t always have to be space operas and bug hunts: it can be the exploration of a fantastical idea or concept. 

Finally, while it isn’t BLINK with its shock value and tear-jerking and frenetic pacing at the end, it sure is *brainy* like BLINK.

Well done.

Posted by steve  on  09/19  at  09:51 PM

Whats up with all the interracial romance.
I could buy into inter species/alien but…
stop pushing it down our throats we get it you want to be modern.
Boo I say, boo.

Posted by I just dont get it  on  09/28  at  04:57 PM

Look - a racist / homophobic troll commenting on a Doctor Who blog post - boy are you in the wrong place.
Go ahead - show us all how much smarter you are then the rest of us - that should be good for a laugh

Posted by Craig  on  09/28  at  07:09 PM

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